GOP chairman urges tech firms' compliance on Clinton email subpoenas

GOP chairman urges tech firms' compliance on Clinton email subpoenas
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House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Tuesday pressed several technology vendors tied to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE’s private email server to comply with subpoenas issued as part of a committee investigation.

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Revelations in a report released Friday by the FBI detailing the results of the agency’s probe into Clinton’s server “reinforce the importance of the materials the Committee subpoenaed from the three companies that provided software and services to Secretary Clinton,” Smith said in a statement.

Smith, along with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators divided over approach to election security Democrats make U-turn on calling border a 'manufactured crisis' GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-Wis.), issued the demands last month, seeking to answer questions about the structure and security of the email system.

The three tech firms have failed to comply with repeated requests for information on Clinton’s email setup, arguing they did not have Clinton’s consent.

“The documents that Secretary Clinton has refused to allow the three companies to provide the Committee will help answer questions about the structure and security of the email system and the cybersecurity standards and measures used to protect information stored on Secretary Clinton’s private server,” Smith said Tuesday.

In his summary of the results of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of the server — which did not result in criminal charges — Director James Comey said it was “possible” her email was hacked by foreign adversaries.

Among the three firms subpoenaed by the Science Committee is Platte River Networks, which maintained the unauthorized server. Earlier on Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFormer chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain MORE (R-Utah) issued a separate letter to the Denver-based firm, demanding more information on the 2015 deletion of a cache of archived emails by a engineer.

Democrats have accused Smith of “abusing the Committee’s investigatory powers to brazenly do the bidding of the Trump campaign," according to an August statement from Science Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).

And in February, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested that the probe had overstepped. He told reporters he believed those inquiries should have been under the purview of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which investigated the attacks on U.S. facilities in the Libyan city.

McCarthy also seemed to indicate that Smith hadn’t given the Republican leader a heads-up before sending the letters.